LAKEWOOD RANCH -- As the 10 classmembers completed the warm-up exercises on the yoga mat before the barre class, Paulina Manning instructed them to "take this moment to set your intentions for class. Take this moment to breathe."
On Thursday evening at Stage Door Preschool in Sarasota, Manning taught the hour-long barre class to family and friends. Manning, along with Beth Woods, have been alternating teaching the classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights to their family and friends to practice teaching the exercise style, which combines ballet, yoga and pilates, before they open their own studio next month.
The two, who are also next door neighbors, are opening a barre3 studio on Lakewood Ranch Main Street in early 2015. This will be the second Florida location. The first is in Winter Park.
"Barre3 is all about community," Manning said. "Lakewood Ranch to us is a perfect environment."
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In the 2,300-square foot space, there will be one studio with cork floors, 26 stations and ballet bars on all four walls, Woods said.
"Barre is about bright, shiny energy," she added.
The pair are planning to have morning, afternoon and an evening class at the Lakewood Ranch studio. They plan to add a lunchtime class once they get established, Woods said.
While the prices for classes haven't been finalized, those interested in participating can pay on a per-class basis or in a bundle. A membership offers an unlimited number of classes each month and includes a discount on clothing and other items sold in
During the studio's opening week, all classes will be free but sign-ups are encouraged online to reserve a spot. Every class includes all levels. The instructor will offer modifications for participants to make the exercise easier or more difficult.
"We want people to try it out," Woods said. "We celebrate people that are true to themselves. We try to get that message across. We want them to feel welcome."
Barre 3 is "mommy friendly," Manning said. The studio will have a play lounge to allow children of all ages to play during the class. Registration for the play lounge is required and there will be a fee.
Woods, a veteran personal trainer, has always wanted to own a fitness studio where people want to stay and visit after class. Woods met Manning while the two were working out at a Sarasota gym a few years ago and now they are preparing to open what they hope is the first of many barre3 studios in the area.
About eight months ago, they began holding barre classes in Manning's living room but as more people became interested, they moved to the Stage Door space until the Lakewood Ranch studio is open.
"This is something that makes me happy," Manning said. "I can really help other people and they can feel the same happiness and passion I have."
Sarasota resident Loretta Richards normally is not a fan of working out but since trying barre about three months ago, she is now "hooked."
"I feel good when I am done," she said, adding that she plans to continue when the Lakewood Ranch studio opens.
Emily Eppinger, who will be one of the studio's instructors, recently came back from an intensive training course in Portland, where barre3 corporate is based.
"It was awesome," the Sarasota resident said after Thursday's class. "Everybody I met was really inspiring and very encouraging. It was a great experience."
Claire Aronson, University Parkway/Sarasota reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.